Consumer group says EU must change fuel consumption tests

EU must change fuel consumption tests states consumer group.

The European Consumer group BEUC and its Italian member, Altroconsumo, is starting a class action lawsuit against Volkswagen and Fiat in Italy based on alleged misinformation to consumers.

Altroconsumo's investigation showed the manufacturers claimed that Fiat Panda 1.2 and Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI models were 20% - 50% more fuel efficient.

However, Monique Goyens, Director General of BEUC commented: "Consumers are being ripped off by car makers stretching test loopholes to their absolute limit. Drivers pay up to several hundreds of Euros more per year on fuel than what can be expected from reading carmakers’ advertising claims. Consumers deserve to be refunded for these claims made by automakers that bear no resemblance to real driving conditions.”

The consumer group claims the EU legislation on fuel consumption and type approval tests is out-of-date. One alleged loophole which manufacturers are apparently exploiting is the use of special lubricants under test conditions which differ from those recommended for regular road use.

BEUC is seeking a new protocol, the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP to be operational for 2017.